Cottagecore and the Wrong Shoe Theory

Wrong shoe theory
Top view
Shoe view

Zara dress (old, similar here), Mango top (old, similar here), Amazon socks, Nike shoes, Coach bag, Kinn Studio necklace, Frasier Sterling necklace

Allison Bornstein’s style methods and theories have completely overrun my fashion brain over the past 6 months as I’ve focused on actually putting outfits together instead of just wearing pieces. I’ve previously focused on putting pieces together that fit the same style or theme of outfit, trying desperately to not repeat the sins of my ancestors (aka looking like the early 2000s Disney Channel stars like Ashley Tisdale and Emily Osment who were always layered in the most outrageous clothing and accessories). However, it appears my style has become quite predictable and too “matchy matchy,” (as seen here) which is why I’ve taken such a liking to Allison Bornstein’s fashion advice. Two of her most popular style concepts are the Wrong Shoe Theory (also featured in this post) and the Three Word Method—both of which I’ve tried my best to follow and incorporate in my life. The Wrong Shoe Theory is focused on choosing a shoe that doesn’t fit the theme or style of one’s outfit, which in turn creates an even more unique and personalized look. In this outfit for example, if I went for the full cottagecore aesthetic without utilizing the Wrong Shoe Theory, I would have opted to wear my yellow Mary Jane Tbilisi flats (which I’ve worn and adored multiple times each week since purchasing last year, as noted in these posts) with my white frilly socks. However, I instead chose to create a more individualized and complex outfit by choosing to pair a bubble sleeve gingham sundress and floral knit top with sporty and retro Nike sneakers. The sneakers establish a sort of style tension by juxtaposing the overt girly clothing and jewelry pieces with a slightly more masculine theme. I love this theory and I’m looking forward to incorporating it more in my daily life and looks!